I am having an affair.
It's true. It's been going on since just after Christmas and I am totally enamoured...totally addicted to my new love. My love is small and red and has an easy-to-use QWERTY keyboard and the cutest little trackball. I am having an affair with my Blackberry.
In order to suck you into a new contract, AT&T will offer customers various free phone upgrades. My contract was up in December and I investigated the phones and found that I qualified for a refurbished Blackberry. I decided to give it a try and have been completely delighted with it. After I figured out everything I can do, I am amazed by all of it's functions.
I can take really good pictures and video with it. I can check and respond to my email from it. I can check and update my Facebook account from it. I can update my Twitter account from it. I can text. I can keep a calendar schedule. I can carry all of my contacts from Outlook with me wherever I go. I have set up individual rings for each of these functions and for all of my contacts. When Anna calls, I hear the "90210" theme song. When Chris calls, it's 007. The MSU Fightsong reminds me I have somewhere to be. "30 Rock" theme song tells me I have an email. My mother in law gets a funny version of "Sexy Back." Spongebob tells me someone from Church is calling. I love to hear the ringtones. It reminds me that I'm connected...stuff is happening. Chris doesn't like it so much. Particularly, he doesn't enjoy it at night when he is trying to sleep.
You see, I sleep with my Blackberry in hand.
That's right...in my hand. Chris hates getting woken up all night long with Twitter updates from Ryan Seacrest, Good Morning America and LiberalMormon. But not me...I like to know. I like being connected. I like knowing that Teresa has picked up Darrin from the hospital the minute it is happening. I like knowing that Anna had a good day today. I like knowing that there is a $7 coupon to Meijer out there from Alicia if I should want it. I like being able to communicate with friends from all over the world that I would otherwise see every five years at a class reunion or never.
Why is this connection so important to me? I think it has to do with my father. I remember a fireside we had when I was about 13 and the speaker asked if anyone was still friends with people from grade school. His whole purpose was to talk about how friendships can be fleeting so don't let friends influence you to make bad choices. I remember my dad was the only one there who raised his hand to say that he was still in touch with someone from grade school. It struck me at that moment that connections with people must be important to my dad and so they needed to be important to me too. The more I think about it, connections were really important to my dad. He talked all the time about a guy that he trained with at Ft. Benning in the '60s. Talked about how the guy still owed him a case of beer over the '68 World Series. That guy, Eddie Gokan, sent an arrangement of flowers for my dad's funeral almost 40 years later. My dad carried a card around with him of the first missionary to ever contact him. That card is now in my possession and if anyone knows William Jay Nielsen from Lehi, Utah, who served a mission in Lansing, Michigan in the late '50s-early 60's, let me know. More than once I was taken to homes of people that he knew in high school, college, former co-workers etc... He always wanted to arrange family reunions to get everyone together. If my dad were alive, he would have more friends than I do on FB.
You can make fun of Facebook and Twitter and Texting and Blogging and Techonology, but without it I wouldn't be able to communicate so easily with so many people. My first YW leader, my best friends from HS, a former crush and his family, people I went to Kindergarten with, friends that have moved away, family members who live in other parts of the world, kids I babysat, kids who babysat my kids, former YW...all of these I know and feel like we communicate often. Last month, I got together with some HS friends that I hadn't seen in about 5 years but it felt like I had just talked to them because I had been keeping up with them through technology! And I'm not only connected to those far distant but to those close by.
So if you need to get in touch with me at any time of day or night...give me a tweet or text or post on my wall or send me an email. I've got my sweet little Blackberry in hand. I'm going to have to get Chris some earplugs...
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